Impacts of Karbala on the Vigilance of Muslims

Impacts of Karbala on the Vigilance of Muslims Unlike a hasty approach to the event of Karbala which may reflect the idea that the revolution of Imam Husain was unfulfilled and it was an unsuccessful struggle, when we carefully study the historical events after the tragedy of Karbala we will, no doubt, come to the conclusion that the revolution of Imam Husain was not only successful in its own nature, but was also the major cause
of all the revolutionary movements which took place after Karbala. In fact, Karbala, in the history of Islam should be regarded as a turning point in the reforming of Muslims.

Unlike a hasty approach to the event of Karbala which may reflect the idea
that the revolution of Imam Husain was unfulfilled and it was an unsuccessful
struggle, when we carefully study the historical events after the tragedy of
Karbala we will, no doubt, come to the conclusion that the revolution of Imam
Husain was not only successful in its own nature, but was also the major cause
of all the revolutionary movements which took place after Karbala. In fact,
Karbala, in the history of Islam should be regarded as a turning point in the
reforming of Muslims. It was only after the tragedy of Karbala that Muslims were
encouraged to revolt against all tyrannical regimes, especially the followers of
Ahlul-Bait who found their ideal role model. ‘When the Master of the youth of
Paradise was willing to sacrifice his life and shed his blood to reform the
corrupted society, of course my blood is not more respected than his’. Such
medicine was injected into the semi-dead body of the whole Islamic Ummah by the
revolution of Imam Husain. As a result, all salvation movements, initiated one
after the other, right after the tragedy of Karbala were, and still are,
inspired by the great revolution of Imam Husain (a.s.).

To this end, Karbala is the luminous torch of human salvation which is lighting
forever the high peak of Islamic history to awaken all people throughout the
ages.

The difference between Jesus & Imam Husain

Imam Husain and Jesus Christ have something in common. Both were reformers, and
according to Christian belief, both were martyred. However, there is a main
point which makes Imam Husain different from the Jesus of present Christianity,
i.e. the martyrdom of Jesus in Christianity is a personal issue. Jesus, in
Christian belief, has been crucified to save his believers. There is no more
responsibility on his followers. Whereas, our Imam Husain was martyred to awaken
people, and his mission was not a personal mission. His role in the history of
mankind is as a role model that must be followed, whereas the role of Jesus,
according to Christianity, was to descend to Earth as an embodiment of God, the
Father, to be sacrificed for the guaranteed salvation of his believers. Jesus,
according to this doctrine, is the personification of God and a ransom and hence
his embodiment is impossible to be followed.

A Glance at some of the major revolutionary movements after Ashoora

There is no doubt that the martyrdom of Imam Husain had a great impact on the
then Islamic Ummah. It was such a great catastrophe that shocked the whole Ummah,
to the extent that it not only awakened many Muslims, but some of the Bani-Omayyah
were also impressed by the tragedy of Karbala. Historians such as Dr. Hassan
Ibrahim in his book ‘The History of Islam’, Kharbotali in ‘ The History of
Iraq’, and Philip Hatti in ‘The History of Arabs’ have all asserted that the
event of Ashoora increased drastically the number of Shiites, to the extent that
as P. Hatti says: “We may be able to claim that Shiite movements initiated from
the tenth of Moharam 61 A.H.”

Nicolson, the famous orientalist holds in his book ‘ The Political History of
Islam’ that “the tragedy of Karbala made Bani-Omayyah feel regretful for what
they had done, for it united the Shiites to revenge unanimously, especially in
areas such as Iraq and Iran, where the new Muslims would like to be rid of the
influence of Arabs.”

Mind you, the policy of race discrimination and the privilege given to Arabs by
Bani-Omayyah, had annoyed many new Muslims. Among all Muslims, the followers of
Ahlul-Bait were the first to be shocked.

The following are some of the main revolutionary movements which took place
after the tragedy of Karbala which were inspired by Ashoora.

1. The event of Harreh ( The massacre of Madina):

All reliable historical sources have narrated this tragedy which took place
almost 3 years after Ashoora.

Although right after the catastrophe of Karbala so many protests were mobilized
against Yazid, Madina the centre of revelation and the main base of the Prophet
(s.a.w.w) in which hundreds of the companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.w) were
still living, rebelled against the tyranical government of Bani-Ommaya. Abdullah
son of Handhaleh (bathed by the angels)1 who later on led the movement, upon
receiving the news of Karbala, paid a visit along with a delegation from Madina
to Damascus, the capital of Yazid. He reported later on, out of what he had
observed in Damascus, that the extent of the corruption had gone so far, he
wouldn’t be surprised if they were stoned in Damascus from the sky.

As a result, upon his arrival to Madina, he mobilized an army against the
government. They captured the House of the Governor in Madina, deported the
governor, Othman Ibn Mohammad Ibn Abu-Sofyan from the city and declared an
autonomy. By doing this, the first capital of Islam was released from the
influence of Bani-Omayya. However, as soon as the news was reported to Syria,
Yazid dispatched one of his most vicious and murderous officers named Muslim Ibn
Aqabeh20 along with his troops which consisted of 5000 soldiers to suppress the
revolt.

In spite of a heroic defense from Madinians, the barbaric troops of Yazid
ultimately conquered the city. According to Mas’odi, the famous historian, so
many people including Bani-Hashim and the companions of the Prophet were killed.

In short, Yazid had permitted his troops to enjoy their total freedom for 3 days
in Madina, meaning no chastity, no property and no blood was respected. Tens of
pages in the history of early Islam consist of descriptions of the Massacre of
Madina.

Al-Fakhri in his History describes this bitter part of Islamic history as:
during those 3 days, hundreds of the Prophet’s companions were killed. The
troops of Yazid entered the Masjidul-Nabi, and polluted the mosque. Around 900
girls were raped. For many years, Madinians would not guarantee the virginity of
their daughters when marrying them.

By the way, although the people of Madina were defeated in that battle, the
protesting flag was transferred to Mecca, where the Holy Mosque and the Qibla of
Muslims were.

2. Revolution in Mecca

Right after the Massacre of Madina, Meccans had an uprising against the central
government. Although this movement was also inspired by the revolution of Imam
Husain, the leader of the revolution of Mecca, Abdullah Ibn Zobair, had no
intention of vengeance for Imam Husain. In order for Yazid to suppress this
movement too, he also ordered Muslim Ibn Aqabeh to attack Mecca, though Allah,
the Almighty did not give him any further opportunity and he died on the way to
Mecca.

At that stage, Hosain Ibn Nomayr, the murderer of Abbas at Karbala, led the army
of Yazid. Ibn Zobair who failed to continue the defense, sought refuge in the
Holy Mosque. However, the troops of Yazid had no respect and hence they started
firing at the Mosque. As a result, the curtains of the Mosque were set on fire
and some parts of the walls of the Ka’ba were destroyed by fire.

This event also took place in the year 63 A.H. and Yazid, the most vicious
figure of Bani-Omayya’s tyranny died 11 days after the event of Mecca.

Apparently, Meccans again were defeated in that battle. However, the more the
crimes of Bani-Omayya increased, the more the people rose up against Bani-Omayya.
The kingdom of Bani-Omayya began shaking day by day until the beginning of the
year 65 when the Bani-Omaya’n dynasty fell into the rubbish bin of history
forever.

Notes:

1. Handhaleh, the father of Abdullah was among the martyrs of the battle of Ohod
who had just married one night before the battle. Since he had directly gone
from his wedding night to the battle without having his ritual bath done, the
Prophet gave him the title of ‘being bathed by the angels’. Abdullah, his son
was the only child he left behind as a result of the one and only communication
he had with his wife.

2. Due to his numerous crimes, some historians have named him instead of Muslim
‘ Mojrem’ (meaning criminal).

Source: Selected from Revolution of Imam Husain by Sheikh Mansour Leghaei